A Foster + Partners and Buro Happold consortium has won the competition to design the new CPK airport between Warsaw and Łódź. “The pivotal project will act as a symbolic gateway to Poland, a 21st century transport interchange which brings together air, rail and road, while reflecting the country’s national identity and providing exceptional passenger experience,” states Foster + Partners press release.

This is certainly an ambitious project on a grand scale. The airport itself is designed to initially handle 40 million passengers, more than double the combined traffic of Warsaw’s Chopin and Łódź airports in 2019. It’s a no-brainer for the project to be awarded to the consortium, who draw on more than 40 years’ experience designing infrastructure and transport-orientated projects. From Hong Kong and Beijing airports to Stockholm Central Station, the vision for the new CPK airport finds a balance between operational efficiency, environmental responsibility and symbolic expression, and there are similar design traits to these existing projects.

Grant Brooker, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners, said: “We are proud and excited to be chosen by CPK as the designers of this project. In collaboration, we will work together to create a model for the future of totally integrated transportation design. We believe that this project will completely revolutionise travel across the country and beyond. The vision of woven architectural form is deliberately and strongly expressed. It could shape the building and guide the passengers through its spaces, while also serving as a powerful symbolic reference to Poland’s rich cultural heritage and the united strength of its people.”

The vision for CPK airport includes a landside interchange plaza that is animated by lush greenery and flooded with natural light – and it’s fresh breezy interior feels more akin to a South East Asian mega hub than one in the heart of the European continent. Being situated away from the main cities, there’s a need for hyper-connectivity here, so the plaza brings together three main modes of transport: air, rail and road. Eagle-eyed readers might even note the addition of an eVTOL launch pad for future transport modes as well.

The transport hub acts as the focal point of the scheme and could support the shift towards more efficient and sustainable means of travel. The plaza would also be able to accommodate future emerging technologies. The design ideas include a simple, continuous vaulted roof which intuitively directs passengers from the plaza towards the aircraft.

The CPK airport will initially serve up to 40 million passengers and then expand seamlessly to meet the 65 million passenger target in 2060.

Posted by:Jonny Clark

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